Ben-Gurion airport warns airlines over missed slots

The Israeli Airports Authority is fed up with the operational standards of some of the airlines flying to Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv.

After incidents when airlines failed to comply with departure slots, the airport manager decided a line had been crossed.

Airport manager Shmuel Zakai sent a strongly worded letter to the managers of Italian charter airline Air Dolomiti and France-based Corsair after about 150 passengers of the two companies last week spent the night on the terminal’s floor.

Incoming flights had been late and missed departure times. But the situation worsened when it became clear the crews of the two airlines had reached the limit of their working day. Frustrated passengers had to spend the night and most of the following day on floors and benches in the terminal.

“I will not allow harm to passengers similar to the events that were experienced in the past two weeks,” Zakai wrote. “Airlines that do not function according to the standards accepted in Israel will not be allowed to continue operations from Ben-Gurion Airport.”

In his letter, Zakai demanded that the airlines strictly keep to the operational schedules assigned to them for exiting the airport.

There is a curfew at Ben-Gurion that allows little flexibility for flights that arrive late at night.

The airport manager wrote that airlines that did not comply with these guidelines would lose their slots for the relevant season.

But that was not the only warning issued by the airport

Zakai summoned a representative from Aegean Airlines, after the company recently sold tickets to passengers for a flight for which the departure time did not coincide with the actual slot assigned to the airline by the airport.

If Aegean does not provide a reasonable explanation by Friday, Zakai warned, all of its flights from Ben-Gurion Airport would be cancelled as of August 4.

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